Five things I learned during the first 71 days of homeschool || boldlytanya.wordpress.comWe have completed 71 days of home school. For no other reason than my affinity for that number, I have decided to commemorate the journey thus far with a list of five observations.

1. Movement/noise is essential. How on Earth did my kids ever learn anything sitting quietly at a desk? Not only do they fidget, but they fidget loudly. Please note this is not an observation exclusive to my son. While my daughter may be able to sit still for longer periods, she prefers to move and sing and mess with things just as much as he does. It fascinates me to see how much more they are able to absorb while they do this. It is also fascinating to see how different they are from me. Taryn loves listening to music while she is reading. I can’t stand to listen to the dog breathing and get upset if the TV is too loud. Aidan likes to tap. Anything. All. The. Ever-loving. Time. I can’t stand to even see it in my peripheral vision. It makes me insane. INSANE. Wanna see me lose my mommy cool? Tap on something while I am trying to focus. Mind=lost.

2. Adaptation is essential. I went into this with grand illusions of organic learning, where we discuss things as they come up. “Oh, you don’t know what that word means? Let’s stop and look it up. Why don’t you grab your notebook and we will write down the definition so we can study it at the end of the day…” Whatever. That doesn’t work for the kids. If we stop and pull out the dictionary, the original study is lost in the parallel realm where forgotten information perpetually sojourns. Simply put: we cannot get back on track. The entire lesson is derailed. Also, I need the accountability of curriculum. I need to have something to which I can anchor. I will change the lesson plans, and adapt according to my needs, but I need just something to get things moving. So basically, everything I thought it would be is nothing like what it actually is. If that makes sense.

3. Time is essential. Even if quality time isn’t your love language, it matters. Actually, I am convinced that it must be my children’s love language. Things are so different. My son hugs me, now. I am learning that Aidan is a labyrinth of personality. Time is the key to unlocking the gate. Beyond it lays this intriguing curiosity and the moment you decide you must learn more, you find another door. They key is the same. Time. It is the same for Taryn. Our conversations are deeper. It is like I never knew my children before.

4. Boundaries are essential. I am introverted. I cannot spend all day pouring out to these needy little creatures, despite the fact that I birthed them. I must have boundaries. Break time is for me, too. That is the number one rule of home school. I will give you all the time you need during class, but when it is time for a break, I need you to leave me alone. That isn’t to say I am completely shut off to their needs. I will attend to basic needs and answer essential questions, but unless it is necessary, it has to wait. It may seem cold, but it is only for a few minutes, and my ability to be fully present and available is dependent upon occasional relief of that burden.

5. Vocabulary hurts. Asking my children to complete a vocabulary lesson requiring the use of one of their vocabulary words in a complete sentence is akin to medieval torture. Clearly, I am devoid of humanity and compassion for even suggesting something so reprehensible. Again, how did they do school?